YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, August 9 (RIA Novosti) – Police in Russia’s far eastern Sakhalin Island have seized about three tons of red salmon caviar in a protected wildlife reserve, officials said on Friday.
Local law enforcement officials held 11 “unemployed residents” at an illegal fish processing plant on the island’s Schmidt peninsula.
Cases containing three tons of salted caviar were found in a truck, police said, as well as a dump holding some 50,000 gutted fish.
A criminal case was opened on charges of illegal fishing, punishable by of up to two years in jail.
Meanwhile, about 100 kg of bootleg black caviar was seized on the Khabarovsk–Moscow Trans-Siberian train, the local police reported on Friday.
Sturgeon caviar worth some 2 million rubles ($60,800), was discovered inside a compartment of the train’s dining car, officials said. Police have detained a suspected smuggler who worked in the dining car.
Sturgeon fishing in the wild is banned in Russia except for scientific and breeding purposes.